The Indian Premier League (IPL) is the most awaited and prestigious Twenty20 tournament in this part of the world. On Saturday, the world will witness the beginning of the twelfth edition of the cash-rich league when Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings will lock horns with Virat Kohli led Royal Challengers Banglore. In India, cricket is more than just a game and is no less than a religion and IPL over the years has entertained us beyond measure. IPL has a devoted fan following, but yet there are many exciting facts and trivia that fans are unaware of.
Whether it's Virat Kohli’s four hundreds in a single season, hat-tricks by bowlers, nail-biting finishes in the last over to exciting super overs, we have witnessed all in the Indian Premier League. Amidst all these numbers, there are still many unheard facts about IPL that will blow away your mind.
Zaheer Khan is the only player to feature in the 1st and 500th IPL game
Former Indian pacer Zaheer Khan is the only player to be part of the very first game and the 500th game of the IPL. While Zaheer played his first match representing the Royal Challengers Banglore in the first season against Kolkata Knight Riders, he played his 500th game against Rajasthan Royals playing for the Delhi Daredevils in the eighth season. Interestingly, on both occasions, Zak ended up on the losing side.
Kieron Pollard and AB de Villiers - the only two overseas players to play more than 100 matches for a single franchise
Running into its 12th season, the Indian Premier League has come a long way. We have seen many changes in the game since then but Kieron Pollard and AB de Villiers are few of the players who have represented a same franchise and player over 100 matches for them. Pollard, who made his IPL debut with the Mumbai Indians, has been with the team and has represented them in 123 matches. On the other hand, AB de Villiers made his IPL debut with Delhi Daredevils but since 2011, the South African legend has been playing for the Royal Challengers Banglore. He has played 101 matches for the Virat Kohli side.
Pat Cummins' 153 km/h delivery remains the fastest IPL ball
During the start of the league in 2008, Shoaib Akhtar, who played for the Kolkatta Knight Riders, was regarded as the fastest bowler in the tournament. Ever since then, a ton of fast deliveries from bowlers like Dale Styne, Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson and others have impressed but none of them could do what Pat Cummins did. The Aussie quick bowler bowled the quickest delivery in the IPL while playing for the Delhi Daredevils in the 2017 edition.
Harbhajan Singh has 13 IPL ducks to his name
Known as one of the most classic off-spinners, Chennai Super Kings bowler Harbhajan Singh has an unwanted record to his name. Playing for Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, Bhajji has 13 golden ducks to his name, maximum for a player. Interestingly, the Turbanator has an impressive strike rate of 142.42 in the IPL.
Royal Challengers Banglore hold the record for the highest and the lowest total in the IPL
One of the most watched-out team in the Indian Premier League, the Virat Kohli-led side has a unique record to their name. While RCB managed to score 263/5 against the Pune Warriors in 2013, where Chris Gayle scored an unbeaten 175, the same team also managed to score only 49 runs against Kolkata Knight Riders in 2017 with Kedar Jadhav top scoring for the side with 9 runs.
Dinesh Karthik holds the record for most number of catches
Indian wicket-keeper batsman Dinesh Karthik, who will be leading Kolkata Knight Riders this season, holds the record for most number of catches collectively in all the seasons of the IPL. He has held 88 catches in 152 IPL appearances. He also has 26 stumpings to his name. Playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kings XI Punjab, Delhi Daredevils, Mumbai Indians and Gujarat Lions, Kartik has been quite a safe pair of hands for the respective teams.
Piyush Chawla bowled a no-ball after bowling 386 overs in IPL
No balls are common in a match when the bowler mistakenly crosses the crease while bowling. But Piyush Chawla remained the only bowler who hadn't bowled a no-ball in his IPL career until he bowled one in a match against the Delhi Daredevils in IPL 2016. The first no-ball of the leg-spinner came after bowling almost 386 overs in his IPL career. Can you beat that? For 8 years, Chawla bowled in the most controlled manner. Interestingly, he has conceded more than 100 sixes during his IPL run.
Brad Hogg is the oldest player in the history of IPL
While IPL is all about being speed and pace, Australian bowler Bradd Hogg was a complete package a franchise could ask for. At 45, he was the oldest player to represent the Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2016.
Kings XI Punjab has had 11 captains in 11 seasons of IPL so far
The Preity Zinta co-owned franchise has managed to grab eye-balls on quite a few occasions. While this can be called as one of the funniest facts of the IPL, the team has had 11 captains in as many seasons and still not a single win. We hope they find a good captain this time around.
Parthiv Patel and Aaron Finch have represented 6 IPL franchises
While Indian wicket-keeper Parthik started his IPL season representing Chennai Super Kings in 2008, he went on to play for Kochi Tuskers Kerala (2011), Deccan Chargers (2012), Sunrisers Hyderabad (2013), Royal Challengers Bangalore (2014) and the Mumbai Indians (2015-2017). In IPL 2018, he played for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. On the other hand, Australia's limited-overs captain, Aaron Finch has played for Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Daredevils, Pune Warriors, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Mumbai Indians and Gujarat Lions respectively.
We hope IPL 2019 will be more entertaining and throw up some interesting stats to document.